The Chronicles of the Unlucky and Unemployed – Chapter 2: Unemployment is Expensive.

PSA: To all my lovely readers in the same boat as I am, it is not our season yet. You are loved. Massively. Ferociously. Unconditionally. The universe is totally freaking out about how awesome you are. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone seeking employment at the moment x.

Another unsuccessful week has gone by in terms of the job search but we must remain hopeful. This week was incredibly difficult for me personally because I felt like I had really hit an all time low when it came to looking for work. I know, everything happens in it’s own time (God has his timing and it’s just not my season yet). However, I wanted to touch on something that has touched me personally and that I feel is not talked about enough among graduates from university or unemployed job seekers.

Recruitment processes. I have a love-hate relationship with them. Obviously it forms part and parcel of getting a job which is understandable, but I’m talking about processes that can take anywhere from weeks to months. I love the idea of getting to know the company and seeing what life is like behind the scenes, but I don’t think that businesses understand how expensive processes like these are, especially if there’s a chance that the potential employee might not be hired at all. To give you guys a bit of background, I recently went through a strenuous recruitment process which took place over the course of a month. It required me to be in different parts of town, which included central and north (about 30-40 minute drives each for me) and also required studying and completing assessments. I know I’m going to sound like a complete geek, but I genuinely enjoyed the studying aspect. Being fresh out of university gave me that competitive edge and I’m not new to burning the midnight oil in order to ace results. However, two steps away from the final interview, I was told that they would not be moving forward with me with that recruitment process. What killed me was that I had put so much time and effort in because I really, really wanted this job and I thought I was a perfect fit. Not only that, but after a month of patiently waiting for answers, buying new clothes to meet whom I thought would be my potential employee, filling up my tank to drive to the other side of town and purchasing a few odds and ends (like printing study notes, etc.), I found myself really broke.

I am truly fortunate to have my own car, but I don’t think people understand that not everyone has their own forms of transportation. As someone who only got her car a few months ago, I decided it would be best to Uber to town as I wasn’t comfortable driving to town on my own in peak morning traffic. Luckily my grandfather offered to take me (and might I add, took me through his work which made a really nifty shortcut). However, if I had to Uber to town that would’ve cost me about R250 from where I live (which would have totalled a whopping R500 for me to get back home), R300 to take me to the North side of town (R600 total to get home) and add in the fact that I needed a white blouse (which was requested by the employer) which I could only find at Woolworths for some reason (I won’t even mention the price, but please know it cost me a pretty penny) and of course if you didn’t have internet and you needed to communicate back and forth (to complete my assessment) which would have probably cost around R50 for printing as well. If my total is correct (maths was never my strong suit) this process could have cost close to the tune of R1250 for someone who used Uber. All of this, just to be told that you didn’t get the job.

I’m not necessarily upset about the situation anymore,ย  because looking back, I genuinely enjoyed the recruitment process and I understand now that maybe I was destined for something better. I just feel that it is quite unfair for unemployed students or job seekers to have to go through such extensive recruitment processes when it is evident that we lack certain criteria for the job. In my case, I was told that I was too young and lacked “life experience”. In my CV, the first bit of information under my name is my date of birth and in my academic history it is stated that I graduate this year.

The job search in itself is already so hard and it is evident that one of the biggest groups that suffer the most is students who have just graduated from university. Not everyone has money to complete some of these processes too, which is heartbreaking. Moral of the story: unemployment is expensive. My heart really goes out to people who use public transport or have to use internet cafes to get work done, it really does impact on the pocket. Not to mention, over the course of a month, it was possible to find other opportunities as well, but you’re so focused on the recruitment process you’re already in because you think you’re so close to the finish line.

What are your thoughts on recruitment processes?

A new week. Let’s go.

We kap aan.

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